FilmComments Off on Madea is BACK to Haunt your FACE with Boo2!
This Halloween just keeps getting better and better, with Stranger Things Season 2, SpongeBob’s Halloween Special, and Madea in the mix makes for another reason to just keep watching all the fims and TV shows in October! This is the TENTH Madea movie, something to think about while you wonder where your life is going and what you are doing.
Animation, Film, TreatsComments Off on Yes, Dracula, There WILL be a SpongeBob Halloween Stop-Motion Special!
I’m trying really hard not to hyperventilate while typing this because I’m just SO EXCITED to learn that The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom is coming to your television (via Nickolodeon) this October AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! While I was a wee bachelor’s student, running around CalArts and learning the joys and rigors of Experimental Animation, there was this GUY.
His name was Steve Hillenburg, and every time I was running in and out of the lab, he was working on his stuff.
He was eleven years older than me, which felt super OLD, and super SMART. People even FIVE years older than you when you’re 18 seem like demigods. Where I felt pulled in all directions and trying to hush my overwhelmed mind, Steve’s presence in the Experimental Animation department was quiet, strong and steady. He did not mess around, he put pencil and pen to paper everyday to build his film, frame by frame. I watched it happen, wondering what he was up to, and then one day, it was ready! Here’s one of the films I saw him hand-drawing all those days at his desk, it’s called The Green Beret.
So anyway, that GUY I went to school with invented SpongeBob Squarepants, and you can just SEE in the style, the humor, every last pitch perfect observation of a hilarious cartoon underwater weirdo world just couldn’t come from any brain but Steve’s. If you haven’t seen the Spongebob Squarepants Holiday Special, it’s well done, and such a love letter to the Rankin Bass stop-motion animation specials of old. I can’t wait to see this Halloween Treat from an ol’ school chum!
Well well well, whaddya know, it’s 2017, and the Gothtober worm turns! Time to gather some wood and start a fire for the cauldron. While we’re doing that, we’ve got something for you to watch.
From 1937, here’s a little something to share, a somewhat pastoral and stressful animated evaluation of an abandoned windmill’s structural integrity during a passing storm. Will the windmill’s delicate eco system of residents survive the weather’s blustering braggadocio? Well we honestly just don’t know!!! It’s a stressful movie, because there’s a whole situation involving a mother bird and a water wheel that is not for the faint of heart. This film, a favorite of Hayao Miyazaki’s, is beautiful because of it’s lush colors and painterly style, along with an appreciation for creatures of the night and their engrossing nocturnal antics.
Johann Strauss II (1825 — 1899)
The Silly Symphonies cartoons were intended to accompany larger features, all of them set to compelling musical soundtracks. This film uses “One Day When We Were Young” from Johann Strauss II’s operetta The Gypsy Baron. The Gypsy Baron is quite a fun operetta featuring mistaken identity, young lovers, old lovers, comic rustics, and buried treasure! It still gets played quite a bit today. Strauss the younger is possibly the most popular composter of all time, his nickname being “The Waltz King.” If you’d like to see this piece conducted by one of the 20th century’s greatest conductors (Carlos Kleiber) lead the Vienna Phil in performing it, by all means, check this out! At 6:13 you can hear the clarinet performing one of the most difficult excerpts in the history of the instrument, a sassy A-G#-F#-G#-A-F#-B-F#!!!
But THIS Silly Symphony is different than all the others because it is the FIRST to use the multiplane camera! It was a huge game changer in the industry that opened doors to special effects as we know it. Multiplane is basically shooting downward on a “layer cake” of backgrounds and elements on transparent glass platens. Pieces are tracked and animated at different speeds and distances, giving the impression of 3-D, although not stereoscopic (to be clear). It was invented by the largely overlooked and terribly under-appreciated animation titan, Ub Iwerks, then of Disney studios. The technology was further refined throughout the late thirties, officially tested on The Old Mill (seen above) which won an Academy Award for Animated Short Film in 1937. Multiplane was then used to make Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Pinnochio, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and many other films. Now we have digital multiplane cameras, the last animated film to use multiplane the old-fashioned way was Disney’s Little Mermaid.
Spoiler alert: It has BALLOONS. I guess that’s not much of a spoiler, since the word “Balloons” is in the title. Duh.
There’s a Columbian balloon man, and a professional tumbler who looks kind of like a kid… wait… that IS a kid! It’s a kid in Los Angeles!
The score is original, played with a real theremin and real cello. It gets more and more ominous the more you watch, we may never know how that balloon man feels. The alienating effects of modernization are felt in this arresting film, Fellini surely would agree.
For anyone who participates in Gothtober every year, it’s absolutely the kind of pressure some artists dread. Taking part in Gothtober means you are expected to deliver some kind of art, while facing intense public scrutiny, on a constricted schedule, while simultaneously having to deal with your own day-to-day obligations, work and personal relationships! Can you feel the angst?
We think Del Norte had some good fun, with much success!
Visit www.gothtober.com and click on DAY 17 to see animation by world famous animator, Christine Panushka! This piece is called “Greed” it involves some pumpkin-type character/creatures, and a certain dynamic that is all too familiar in today’s society. Perhaps this dynamic has always prevailed, but it does seem that lately it’s more pervasive. However, not to worry, as you can see, greed can only go so far, it has an end, just like everything else. But what happens next? Hmmmm!
This author (Head Candy Corn of Gothtober.com) would like to point out that Christine Panushka has been my mentor for 30 years. The guidance, patience, and teachings from Christine as my instructor and mentor over the years has helped me to be the artist I am today. With Christine’s support, I have grown up to lead and take part in projects that not only push my own quest to learn, but to delight in collaborations that help my fellow artists push themselves to make art.
I am not the only one who feels this way, there are hundreds of us. She has built armies of animators, instructors, artists, and film makers, so here’s a 21 Pumpkin salute from Gothtober to Panushka Power!
Day 16 of www.gothtober.com features the night antics of a couple of wayward ghosts on their way to somewhere else. The film is called “Terminus” having to do with the termination of life, along with the terminals we wait in while we’re taking whatever journeys both life and death require of us.
Shot in and around Vernon and 26th St. of Los Angeles, the ghosts make their way in and around the belly of the city. They go a-haunting among diesel engines, intermodal containers, and corridors of active and forgotten tracks.
Julianna Parr does Gothtober artwork under the guise of Danny Torrance, Ichabod Brains, and other pseudonyms. She is head Candy Corn of the Gothtober Countdown Calendar.
Visit www.gothtober.com and click on Day 15 and watch this dear sweet tribute to one of LA’s historic eccentric personalities who passed away in September of 2016. It’s Lori Meeker’s puppet vignette about Rae Susan Strauss! Sometimes you’d see her in the crosswalk, never in a rush, gliding past, one of the regulars, always a curious human to witness. She lived in a black lava covered house, thus, her nickname was “The Lava Lady.”
Not many of us understood her, but we liked her. We liked her a lot, she wore her hair in a tall spike, wore bellbottom pants and extremely tall platform shoes. She was a poet. She was many things. Find out more about The Lava Lady by reading this LA Weekly article.
artists, FilmComments Off on Ian MacKinnon’s Witchy Gothtober DAY 14
Visit www.gothtober.com and click on Day 14 for the most helpful advice you’ll get this year!
Ian MacKinnan’s coven of witchy sisters are going to guide you toward greatness, if only you’ll listen to their common sense wisdom! Each of them is over 500 years old, so if you think better… Witch Please, think again!
Studies have shown that regular humans like us can gain infinite knowledge from the centuries of experience our dear majikal wimmin sisters have gleaned. If you don’t like what they are saying, don’t be too vocal about it, they can say incantations that make you grow hair on your eyeballs, it’s best that you not explore their wrath! We think you’ll find that if you apply these helpful bits of learning to your life lexicon, you will achieve a level of balance that was thought to be long lost, according to legendary lore.
They say that things go better with basset hounds, so we invited The Stig to come on over and celebrate with us for another Gothtober. My goodness, this canine doesn’t disappoint! This year’s presentation by our furry long-eared fellow takes us down an eerie wooded path to tell a story we’ve all been addicted to over the summer. No spoilers! In the footsteps of Flash on Dukes of Hazzard, Sam on That’s So Raven, and Tex Avery’s cartoon creation, the beloved Droopy, The Stig is doing a fine job of becoming everyone’s modern day household Basset Hound!
Piñatas of bully billionaire politicians are quite popular right now…
Visit www.gothtober.com and click on DAY 9 and well… it might be the scariest thing on the entire calendar this year.
Los Gatitos and their basket of adorable deplorables have collaborated this year to make a short and sweet punk song asking you to please not vote for the Cheeto. I’m not gonna say his name because I’m tired of hearing it, and you know who I’m talking about.
Turn this one on, turn it up and sing along, we need it!